repurposed kneelers create beautiful wall hanging

18th July 2021
Leatherhead Parish Church

This beautiful wall hanging was created in 2020/21, to celebrate the completion of the Making History re-ordering project, by local artist Caroline Cardew-Smith.

The textile piece was inspired by the Creation story command ‘Let there be light’ and the opening chapters of Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”


in the beginning god created 

The piece was made in 3 panels, repurposing 30 of the redundant tapestry hassocks (kneelers).

The reverse side was chosen as a base for applying recycled fabrics and yarns, using a variety of stitch techniques, including hand and machine embroidery, applique, reverse applique, embellishing, cutting, couching, and the sewing onto the piece of tiny beads.

history of the hassocks

From 1967 until the early 1990’s twenty members of St Mary & St Nicholas Church embroidered nearly 300 hassocks, which were used to kneel on during prayers.

The background colour for hassocks in the nave was blue, and a terracotta pink tone was chosen to complement the floor tiles in the chancel.

A selection of the original hassocks has been retained for future generations to admire. Two special blue, white and gold kneelers are used at weddings.

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